Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus vs Ultra: What’s the same and what’s different

In September 2019 Instant Pot® released the Duo Evo Plus version. Thinking about buying a new Instant Pot? Let’s take a look at the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus vs Ultra.

Instant Pot designs each of its electric pressure cookers to be convenient, safe, and dependable. In September 2019 they released a new model, the Duo Evo Plus. With each model comes a different combination of variations that might change your thinking about which one you want. This new model has a lot of differences compared to the other Instant Pots available. Here’s a look at the Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo Evo Plus side by side.

You can also compare the Instant Pot Duo Plus vs Duo Evo Plus separately

Close up of a Duo Evo Plus to compares the differences between the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus vs Ultra

And one more note: this post contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission if you buy through my link. You won’t pay any more if you use this link.

What is the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker?

An Instant Pot® is a smart multi-use Electric Pressure Cooker designed to be safe, convenient, and dependable. Safety is critical to any kitchen appliance. You’re able to cook your meals faster and use less energy by pressure cooking. If an energy-efficient kitchen is important to you, take a closer look at the Instant Pot.

Another bonus is you can cook hot meals without heating up your kitchen in the summer.

The Ultra and Duo Evo Plus are just two of the many pressure cooker models the company sells. And the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus was one of several new models they added to the lineup in 2019.

Specifically, you may be considering the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus vs Ultra and trying to figure out which one is better. Or maybe how they’re different if you already own an Ultra.

What is the difference between the Duo Evo Plus vs Ultra?

The Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus is the most innovative electric pressure cooker version they’ve released. Here’s a look at the key differences between the classic Instant Pot model and one of the models released in 2019.

Also check out the newer model, the Instant Pot Pro, available with a limited time discount.

The Duo Evo Plus inner liners are completely different than the other models

The new Duo Evo Plus has a stovetop-friendly inner liner and has built-in handles for easy lifting. These lines are not compatible with any of the other Instant Pot models, nor can the “standard” liners be used in the new model.

The liner is easier to lift with the handles, which is a great added feature! Grabbing the regular liner can be a challenge at times.

If you decide to buy a Duo Evo Plus, you’ll need to buy separate inner pots if you want to have spares.

You can check on Amazon for the availability of these special liners, or buy them directly from Instant Pot.

The Ultra technically has more smart programs but the Duo Evo Plus has 48 presets

With most of the Instant Pots, you can simply compare them side by side based on smart programs. So while it may look like Duo Evo Plus has fewer cooking options, this model actually has a lot more.

With the Duo Evo Plus, the presets add a whole new level of taking the guesswork out of cooking.

Adjust your cooking time based on Altitude with the Ultra

One feature you won’t find on other models is the ability to adjust your cooking time based on your altitude. The “altitude” adjustment eliminates the struggle with converting recipes to provide a more precise cooking time.

If you live at an elevation where you need to take that into account when cooking, take a closer look at the Ultra.

The control panels are slightly between the two models

The Ultra and Duo Evo Plus both have a turn dial to make selections. The Ultra makes all selections from the turn dial while the Duo Evo Plus also has buttons.

If you’re new to either of these models, don’t forget to hit the start button. Unlike other Instant Pot models that start a few seconds after pressing the program buttons, both of these models require you to press the start button to begin cooking.

The Duo Evo Plus has a completely different lid and sealing knob

In addition to a new style of the inner liner, the Duo Evo Plus lid has a few interesting features. It has a controlled pressure release that you can flip to switch.

In addition to releasing pressure quicker with the QuickCool technology, it also manages the pressure steam better. If you’ve seen a quick-release on an electric pressure cooker and been a bit scared, check out this model instead.

The Ultra automatically sets pressure release valve to sealing with is a nice added feature.

The included accessories are different between the models

The Ultra comes with one sealing ring, the trivet, a measuring cup, and a few utensils. One of the things you’ll like want to buy if you decide to purchase this newer model is an additional sealing ring or two as they generally pick up cooking smells that can be difficult to get out.

The Duo Evo Plus comes with two sealing rings and a trivet. So it comes with a few fewer accessories but extra sealing rings are a must-have accessory. Make sure you buy the size for the Instant Pot you have.

With a few key features, the Ultra will typically cost more

Compared to the Ultra model, the newer Duo Evo Plus actually costs a little bit less than the Duo Evo Plus. But always keep an eye out for flash sales and deals on the Ultra. You never know when you’ll be able to save money on purchases, even with the newer models.

The Ultra is available in a 3 quart mini size

The Duo is available in 3 sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart, which gives you a lot of flexibility. If you have a smaller kitchen, or typically cook for one person, the 3 quart model might be a better option for you.

The Duo Evo Plus is available in 6 quart and 8 quart sizes. 6 quarts is the most popular size out of the models, and what most recipes are written for.

3 Quart Ultra
3 quart Ultra

The Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus and Ultra compared side-by-side

To go deeper on each model, take a look at the appliances combined, smart programs included, and sizes available compared side-by-side. Aside from looking at a summary of the differences, looking at the key model aspect in detail will help you decide which is better for you.

The appliances combined in each model

You save counter and storage space because each Instant Pot combines multiple kitchen appliances into one. And you also save money by buying one appliance to cover multiple cooking methods.

Let’s take a look at the appliances combined in the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus vs Ultra:


Instant Pot Duo Evo PlusInstant Pot Ultra
Number of Appliances Combined1010
Pressure CookerYesYes
Slow CookerYesYes
Rice CookerYesYes
SteamerYesYes
Sauté/SearingYesYes
Yogurt MakerYesYes
Sous VideYes
WarmerYesYes
Cake MakerYesYes
Stock PotYes
SterilizerYes

While both the Ultra and Duo Evo Plus combine the same number of appliances, they have a few differences between them.

Smart Programs included in the Ultra and Duo Evo Plus

Instant Pot created smart programs to help the home chef be able to cook with the press of a button. The smart programs were created based on extensive testing, control heat intensity, temperature, pressure, and duration.

Not all smart programs are included in each Instant Pot series. And the mini 3 quart models generally don’t have all the smart programs included the same series. For example, the 3 quart mini models usually have a few fewer programs than its larger 6- and 8-quart siblings have.

One thing to call out with the Duo Evo Plus is the number of included smart programs is a bit deceiving. The Duo Evo Plus has a large number of presets to further control time and temperature as part of the main smart programs. So while the chili, for example, isn’t a smart program, it is a preset option within both the Pressure Cook and Slow Cook functions. You can make chili with and without pressure.


Instant Pot Duo Evo PlusInstant Pot Ultra
Number of Smart Programs916
Soup/BrothYes
Meat/StewYes
Bean/ChiliYes
SautéYesYes
RiceYesYes
MultigrainYes*
PorridgeYes
YogurtYesYes
Pressure Cook YesYes
SteamYesYes
Keep WarmYesYes
Slow CookYesYes
Pasteurize**YesYes
Bake*Yes
Cake*Yes
Sous VideYes
UltraYes
EggYes

* These programs (Cake and Multigrain) may not be available in the 3-quart versions of this Instant Pot.

** Pasteurize is a program that’s included in the Yogurt Smart Program

While the Mini Ultra does not have the Cake Setting, don’t worry as you can still make cakes using the pressure cook setting and adjusting the time.

Looking at the model sizes side-by-side, the models larger than the 3 quart have two additional smart programs: multigrain and poultry.

Don’t forget the accessories! Regardless of which Instant Pot you buy, don’t forget the accessories. Most of the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus accessories will also work for the Ultra, except for the inner liner. Make sure you buy the right one for your Instant Pot Model.

Which sizes the Duo Evo Plus and Ultra available in?

Many Instant Pot models are available in the core three sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart. Currently, the Duo Evo Plus is available in 2 sizes: 6 quarts and 8 Quart. If you’re looking for the mini 3 quart model, take a closer look at the Ultra.

Instant Pot Duo Evo PlusInstant Pot Ultra
3 QuartsYes
6 QuartsYesYes
8 QuartsYesYes

If you’re looking for an Instant Pot larger than 8 quarts, the Duo Nova 10 quart might be an option for you.

What are your thoughts on the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus vs Ultra?

Whenever you buy a new Instant Pot you need to decide which features and size make the most sense for your needs. If you already have an Ultra, there are a few interesting features in the new Duo Evo Plus that could make it an attractive addition to your kitchen.

Given the versatility of the Instant Pot, having more than one in your kitchen wouldn’t be unusual. Or if you’re looking to try a different size, switching to a new model gives you the best of both worlds.

As part of your research, what are you looking for in an Instant Pot Ultra vs Duo Evo Plus?

Learn more about the Instant Pot Models

Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus vs Ultra: What's the difference? What's the same?

4 Comments

  1. Hi
    1.can every present in evo or ultra can be used or duplicate with pressure cook setting.. I mean is it the same thing?
    2. I have read in your evo review that it provides customization..So can you please explain that how the customization differs from ultra pot customization. What difference these two pots have in regards to customization?
    What does full control or customization actually mean?
    3.does evo and ultra have no pressure mode?
    I need to order soon in so please try to reply to help me.
    Thankful and grateful

    1. Hey Ruchi –

      Thanks for stopping by. Great questions. Typically you can use “pressure cook” for any (pressure cooking) preset that an Instant Post model. The presets help control heat intensity, temperature, pressure, and duration so you can get a better result. For example, I typically use pressure cook (or whatever a recipe calls for) but used the poultry setting yesterday in my Duo Evo Plus to batch cook a large package of chicken breasts.

      Customization is something I need to dig into more myself. Beyond choosing programs (on any of the models that I have) and setting the necessary time I haven’t had the need to play with it. For you, it may depend on what you plan to cook. And the recipes you’re using would likely guide you further.

      No pressure cooking is tied to specific programs. So you can’t choose “pressure cook” and turn off the pressure (as far as I know). Saute, yogurt, slow cook, and keep warm are the no-pressure programs that come to mind off-hand. I believe bake on the Duo Evo Plus is also a no-pressure cooking program.

      Long story short. For most cooking needs, any of the models will likely fit what you need. You just need to choose the size that fits your needs. It will come down to how much you want to experiment beyond the typical recipes, your budget, availability, or if you live at a higher altitude that could benefit from that adjustment.

      Good luck with your purchase!

  2. Over all which could you suggest to get?
    I need to get this for a Christmas gift but confused on which to go for.pls a quick respond thank you

    1. Hi Joy –

      Ultimately it will depend on what features are important to the person who will receive the gift. If you’re looking at these two Instant Pots specifically, then you may also want to look at the Pro which replaced the Duo Evo Plus. The Pro has some interesting features and may be available at a deal price.

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